Israeli Hawks will soon be in a Dominent Position in Cabinet
Hosted by Alan Simpson since 1996
|General Sharon and his supporters are likely to dominate all
future decision making on Israel's response to the continuing Intifada in the occupied
territories, Foreign Minister Peres and the less confrontationalist ministers are in
retreat and may indeed eventually leave the Government.
With them would go any possibility of a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, and should they decide to stay, the chances of them being able to prevent the slide towards choosing a military solution to Israel's present problems are remote.
To avoid the overt use of the IDF's crushing military might, with all the risks of international condemnation, a decision has reportedly been made to use Special Forces and covert operations. They will identify and destroy important Palestinian military facilities and target the leaders of the Intifada, militant Islamic groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah and if necessary Arafat and other Palestinian Authority ministers, for assassination. The eventual aim is the destabilize the entire region as covert action would spread to the Lebanon and other areas.
That the IDF has the capability to successfully mount such operations is without question.
Israeli Special Forces have a proven track record of long-distance and unexpected strikes at enemy targets, from capturing an entire advanced Russian Radar in Egypt to the brilliant assault on Entebbe in Uganda.
Sayeret Shirion-500 (attached to an elite Armored Brigade), Palsar T'Zanhanim (Parachute unit), Sayeret Duvedevan (a Mistaravim or 'becoming an Arab' undercover group), Sayeret Egoz(for operations in the Lebanon), Sayeret Matkal (elite anti-Terrorist) and 'Yachmam' ('targets' identification) are just a few of the units available to carry out a 'cloak and dagger' war against the Palestinians and their allies.
Should the Israeli leadership finally sanction an all out covert assault, then no Arab territory or leader could be considered safely outside Israel's reach. Sharon, increasingly being accused of actions amounting to war crimes in the Lebanon twenty years ago, is under pressure and may not be in the mood for talks with Arafat or anyone else.
A noted man of action, Sharon's natural inclination is to strike quickly and hard, and he may not wait much longer.
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